Wednesday, July 06, 2005

An Inconceivable Loss

Some say there are no accidents in the universe. But surely someone must have goofed when they made it so difficult for me to have children.

So many people have told me they cannot think of anyone who would make a better mom. I am patient, responsible, organized, honest, loving and caring. I often put others before myself and enjoying helping people. And, I have some sort of strange vibe going on that makes children drawn to me. I cannot explain why. I am not one of those people who ooohs and aahs over babies and kids. I don't even talk all that much with children. It seems that all I need to do is smile. And then kids I have never met start talking to me, babies walk over and bring me their toys -- it is so weird. When I meet my friends' babies for the first time, they warm up to me right away. Within minutes, they are smiling at me and letting me hold them, even if they are typically shy or leary of new faces.

It just seems natural that I should be a mom. Unfortunately, my journey to parenthood has been anything but natural. It all started in 1999 when I became happily pregnant for the first time. I was so looking forward to becoming a mother. I dreamed of all the cool things my husband and I would do with our kids. I had always wanted children and was so excited that it was actually going to happen. Then, one day at work when I was in the bathroom, I noticed bleeding. A wave of fear came over me and I knew at that moment that my dreams of becoming a mother were about to be shattered. To make a long and painful story short, I miscarried. It was one of the most devastating times in my life. I won't go into the details here because it is personal and I don't care to relive that horrible experience. What I will say is that after terrible pain, emergency surgery, a terrifying ride in an abulance and nearly a year of depression and anxiety, I wasn't in a big hurry to repeat that experience again. So I put parenthood on hold while I healed, became stronger and found the courage to try again.

When I became pregnant the second time, I cried tears of great joy. Again, I was so excited about becoming mom. This time I bought books on pregnancy and some maternity clothes. I'll never forget the night my husband said he loved me and then added to my stomach: "I love you too, baby." Unfortunately, not long after that, the familar abdominal pain returned and so did the bleeding. I once again miscarried.

After visits to my OB/GYN, a perinatalogist and a rheumatologist, along with a host of blood tests, doctors concluded I had antiphospholipid syndrome. This condition can cause many health problems, with the most common being recurrent pregnancy loss. In fact, women who have it have about a 90-95 percent chance of miscarrying. The treatment is self-administered, twice-daily injections of heparin (a blood thinner) combined with baby aspirin throughout the pregnancy. I was not at all comfortable with the treatment and the risks involved, so having a baby became nearly impossible for us. As you can imagine, it was very difficult to accept that my husband and I would not be able to have the child we so desired.

In July 2003, after a lot of soul-searching, we decided to pursue domestic adoption. I will write more about that in my next posting.

NEXT TOPIC: We've Only Just Begun

1 comment:

BJA said...

Tears are rolling down my cheeks.